The good news keeps on coming for stocks working on COVID-19 treatments.
The latest company to confirm some good news is AnteoTech Ltd [ASX:ADO]. A small-cap biotech firm that has been working on a product that tests for COVID-19 symptoms.
What makes this test impressive though, is its ability to detect the virus at trace levels.
AnteoTech says their test can confirm the virus with just 0.02 nanograms per millilitre (ng/ml). Which far exceeded the 0.1 ng/ml threshold.
So, this test may be the big breakthrough this tiny biotech was looking for. The ADO share price was up 15% on the announcement at the time of writing…
Trial and error
The big news is that AnteoTech’s testing product has moved from ‘Design Verification’ to ‘Design Validation’.
What this means is that AnteoTech has settled on the product itself. Aiming to move it out of the lab into the testing phase. A process that will involve clinical trials at some point.
Keep in mind, this antigen test is just one component of AnteoTech’s product offering too. They’re aiming to fast track the development of this test first, but also have a COVID-19 Flu A/Flu B multiplex in the wings too.
It’s just that this later product is far more complex and will take more time to develop. As such, the company wants to work on getting the aforementioned antigen test to market first. Provided it passes all the trials with flying colours.
From the initial testing AnteoTech has done themselves though, it looks promising. As they note:
‘The AnteoTech COVID-19 antigen test detected a strong positive signal from 10 of the samples and very low signal from 5 of the samples with estimated positive/negative cut-off set at 230 RFU [relative fluorescent unit].
‘In essence, the AnteoTech COVID-19 antigen test worked perfectly first time.
‘Further, the sample set was very highly diluted and this appears to confirm that the AnteoTech COVID-19 antigen test is operating at very high sensitivity.’
With two external follow-up tests already planned, now we will have to see if the test holds up under further examination. All of which will help build the case for clinical trials.
Road to commercialisation
All up, if all goes to plan, AnteoTech hopes to have development of this test wrapped up in five to eight months. Making it available to the Australian and US market as soon as possible to help fight the pandemic.
For shareholders, that would be ideal. Giving them the best chance at seeing a serious return on a stock that could prove vital in beating this terrible virus.
Following on from that, we could also see the Flu A/Flu B test debut. A project that could open up even more opportunities for this tiny biotech stock.
The big questions though, are whether the trials will go to plan, and, whether they will make it to market in time.
After all, the race to develop products for the COVID-19 market has been on for quite some time. With plenty of biotech companies, both big and small, all vying to create breakthrough goods and services.
Time will tell if AnteoTech will be a part of that cohort or not.
It’s a risky play, but one that could pay off in spades.
However, if you’re looking for small-cap opportunities with a bit more value behind them, then we’d suggest looking elsewhere. Our report on ‘high-value small-caps’ can show you where to find great stocks with a little more substance to them.
For Money Morning